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Raise compensation for acid attack victims: activist

Jul 19, 2017

Javed Abidi, a disability rights activist has demanded that compensation amount for acid attack victims should be raised from the present 3 lakh to at least 10 lakh.

New Delhi: Crowdfunding platforms are full of acid attack victims; raising money for surgeries. As per the newest disability bill, acid attack victims, are now recognized as a class of disability.

India has one of the highest rates of acid violence in the world, yet a backlog of criminal cases means it can take up to 10 years for courts to reach a judgment and most victims receive no compensation.

Globally, there are as many as 1,500 recorded acid attacks each year with more than 1,000 cases estimated to occur in India alone. However, many attacks go unreported because victims are too afraid of a backlash. Or too ashamed to come forward.

The majority of victims are women, attacked over domestic or land disputes, a rejected marriage proposal or even spurned sexual advances.

Attackers frequently target the head and face to maim, disfigure and blind. Victims are left with lifelong physical and psychological scars.

Despite the severity of the crime, acid remains easily available in India where it is used in manufacturing and the processing of cotton and rubber, despite a 2013 Supreme Court order to curb sales.

Says Javed Abidi, “I am glad that acid attack victims are now covered under the larger definition of persons with disabilities. It has been six months since the law has been passed. What is urgently needed is a comprehensive policy. 3 lakh rupees for treatment and rehabilitation is a cruel joke. That money is not enough even for a decent treatment, leave alone a dignified rehabilitation program. The state must be more generous for it was they who failed to protect the victim in the first place! I demand that the amount is raised from the present 3 lakh to at least Rs. 10 lakh.”

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